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Why Does My Cat Guard Me When I Pee? 7 Possible Reasons

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Cute cat playing with roll of toilet paper in bathroom
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Is your cat following you into the bathroom, staring intently at you carrying out your business, posting up by the door seemingly watching for the arrival of some mysterious third party, or even jumping on you mid-session?

There’s no doubt this appears somewhat out of the ordinary, and as a conscientious cat owner, you may be wondering if this is okay, or if something’s wrong with this picture. Here are some key reasons your cat might be guarding you in the bathroom, the shower, or even when you sleep.

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The 7 Reasons Why Your Cat is Guarding You in the Bathroom

1. Guarding

This may be an area of some contention, based on the aloof air cats often project, but make no mistake. Cats really do care about their owners; they may just show it in odd ways sometimes.

Guarding behavior is definitely one demonstration of this affection. Some parts of the house may be regarded by them as more hazardous, or at least unpredictable, than others. The bathroom is one zone your cat might consider potentially dangerous, with its abundance of unusual scents, loud noises, hard, uncomfortable surfaces, and seemingly random sprayings of water.

This general discombobulation will be aggravated by the fact that, when we enter this space, we close the door. So, your cat not only has to deal with you going into this area of uncertainty, you compound it by locking them out. It’s not much wonder they are concerned for your welfare!

Two cat sitting at the door waiting for owner
Image Credit: ben bryant, Shutterstock

2. Territoriality

After even a short period of living with you, your cat will consider you part of their territory, as much as any other physical feature of their home. Their instinct will compel them to claim and defend this territory, as part of their established food source and resting place.

Since they will seek to exert control over their territory, expelling them by closing the bathroom door will be unsettling for them, representing a perceived threat to their safety and security.


3. Separation Anxiety

Your cat may find it stressful to be separated from you. A closed door between the two of you could make them anxious and clingy, making them want to be in the bathroom with you.

While this may appear to be just another form of the affection discussed earlier, it is actually more concerning, since it indicates underlying emotional distress, which is no fun for your cat.

If you think your cat might be undergoing separation anxiety, you should contact your vet to find out how to best alleviate the condition.

cat at vet with owner and veternarian
Image Credit: 4 PM production, Shutterstock

4. The Bathroom is Fun

While, as we’ve mentioned, some cats may regard the bathroom as strange and threatening, others may actually find it exciting and an adventure waiting to happen.

Multiple levels, loads of weird angles, toilet paper rolls, towels, and dripping faucets can all present hours of potential stimulation for lively felines.


5. A Great Spot for a Nap

Your cat may also consider the bathroom prime real estate for a badly needed snooze. Bathtubs, sinks, and especially any open shelves offer smooth surfaces and the containment cats crave in preferred chill locations. Even more so if there’s stuff providing partial or complete concealment. These have the added benefit of enabling them to suddenly appear and score a jump scare on you.

Bonus points are awarded if shelves feature nice soft folded towels or other linens.

Orange Cat sleeping in towels inside the bathroom
Image Credit: mama_mia, Shutterstock

6. Attention Grab

You’re probably aware that your cat craves attention (possibly in weird ways), maybe from you most of all. So, they’ll never get a better chance to monopolize your company than when you’re incapacitated and unable to escape. Whether that means sitting close and eyeballing you or full-on climbing onto you, they probably know that you have no choice but to put up with it, given that you’re unlikely to interrupt your business to get away from them.


6. Just Plain Curious

Never mind the old saying about curiosity, cats are famous for their seemingly endless drive to be aware of their surroundings and what’s going on around them, and it generally serves them well.

cat inside the bathroom watching someone
Image Credit: Okssi, Shutterstock

7. They Like a Routine

Many cats, especially those who spend most of their time indoors, are strongly bound to daily routine. Your cat may accept visits to the bathroom as part of yours, and be comforted by making it a habit of theirs as well. This is more likely if your visits are related to other regular daily events, especially those that involve feeding.

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Conclusion

While the guarding behavior we’ve discussed is mostly harmless and somewhat endearing, it may be undesirable, or could possibly indicate underlying problems needing correction.

You may find yourself frustrated at never getting any personal space away from them, especially during bathroom times. Some cats may even become overprotective and even take a shot at or nip other people they consider infringing on you.

Also, guarding behavior on their part could develop to the point where anxiety or stress are indicated. Your veterinarian can determine whether your cat is experiencing any underlying health issues that could be exacerbating these conditions and can recommend the appropriate course of action.

Hopefully, the reasons for your cat joining in for your ablutions are worry-free, allowing you to enjoy the company and bond even more with your kitty.


Featured Image Credit: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

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